The South African cricket team are quite famous for their choking at the penultimate moment habit. However, still the entire cricketing world cannot forget that sight of the side that suffered a heartening defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup semi-final encounter. Every South African player was in tears at the Eden Park in Auckland when New Zealand scampered for a single in the last over to get over the line and book a place in the final. The Proteas had done everything right in that game but couldn’t get the better of nerves in the closing stages of the encounter.
The likes of AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel among many were heartbroken even as the team also had the youngsters like Quinton de Kock. Four years down the line, ahead of the game against the same opponents, South Africa have found themselves in a similar position. While recalling the loss in Auckland, when De Kock was asked if that game the most emotional moment in his playing career, the wicket-keeper batsman rated it second to the IPL 2019 final.
Quinton de Kock played a crucial role in the title-winning Mumbai Indians 2019 Indian Premier League campaign. In his very first year with the most successful franchise, de Kock finished as the team’s leading run-getter. He felt that winning the trophy with MI was more emotional for him.
“The second most at the moment. Obviously the IPL final this year was up there. But then, Eden Park obviously…Auckland, it was pretty intense. I experienced it for the first time ever, that vibe that was going through the stadium. It was so noisy. (I was) just trying to concentrate, but it was tough to deal with it,” quoted Quinton de Kock during the pre-match press conference.
While New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament so far, South Africa could be on the brink of the elimination if they lose one more game. Quinton de Kock termed this game as the quarter-final for his team and understands that all the upcoming games are important for them.
“Tomorrow is a quarter-final, I guess you could say it. But if we do win it, it’s another big game again… We have to win all the games, not just focus on tomorrow,” the 26-year-old further added. The Kiwis are at the third position with seven points to their name, while South Africa have managed only one win in five matches losing three.